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Scouting report: Jaguars' passing offense

Oct. 28, 2012
 

Here is Pete Dougherty's scouting report on the Jacksonville Jaguars' passing offense:

The Jaguars rank last in the league passing yards and No. 29 in sacks percentage. Mularkey has a good reputation for developing young quarterbacks -- he coached Matt Ryan in Atlanta the past four seasons -- but has a major project in Blaine Gabbert, who appears to have a decent shot at playing Sunday despite sustaining a torn labrum in his left (nonthrowing) shoulder last week. Gabbert, the No. 10 pick in last year's draft, has great size (6-5, 233), a strong NFL throwing arm and good athleticism.

He's made substantial strides from an especially difficult rookie season in which he went 4-10 as a starter and had a 65.4 passer rating. However, he played in a spread passing game in college at Missouri, where he often made quick throws, and there are questions about his awareness and quickness for the multiple reads required in the NFL game. This season he's thrown six touchdown passes and three interceptions, and has a 77.1 rating. He was playing some of his best football when he was knocked out of the game in the second quarter last week with Jacksonville leading 17-3 at Oakland.

If Gabbert can't play, the starter will be Chad Henne, who did next to nothing (9-for-20 for 71 yards) after replacing Gabbert. Henne presumably would play better if he gets the starter's snaps in practice. He has good size (6-3, 230), an extremely strong arm and the toughness teammates rally around, but he has little mobility, shaky accuracy (60.4 completion rate for his career) and is prone to throwing into coverage -- he's thrown more interceptions (37) than touchdowns (31) in his career. He's 13-18 as a starter and has a career rating of 75.7. The Jaguars' most talented receiver is Justin Blackmon, the No. 5 pick in this year's draft.

He has great size (6-1, 215) and strength but isn't as athletic as his former teammate at Oklahoma State, Dez Bryant. Blackmon isn't a good route runner yet and hasn't made much of an impact so far (14 catches, 9.0-yard average, no touchdowns). Tight end Mercedes Lewis (28) isn't as athletic as early in his career but is a primary target (team-high 17 catches, 8.0-yard average). Cecil Shorts (6-0, 205), a fourth-round pick last year, is their best playmaker at this point (12 receptions, 23.7-yard average). Another receiver, Laurent Robinson, has been out with a concussion and appears unlikely to play again this week.

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